U.S. Takes First Step Towards AI Risk Management

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The request seeks input from AI companies and the public on generative AI risk management and reducing risks of AI-generated misinformation. 

The Biden administration has announced taking the first step towards writing key standards and guidance for the safe deployment of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and how to test and safeguard systems. The decision was prompted by President Joe Biden’s October executive order on AI.

Generative AI – which can create text, photos and videos in response to open-ended prompts – in recent months has spurred excitement as well as fears it could make some jobs obsolete, upend elections and potentially overpower humans and catastrophic effects.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), commerce department said it was seeking public input by February 2 for conducting key testing crucial to ensuring the safety of AI systems.

The agency is developing guidelines for evaluating AI, facilitating development of standards and providing testing environments for evaluating AI systems. The request seeks input from AI companies and the public on generative AI risk management and reducing risks of AI-generated misinformation. The agencies are directed to set standards for that testing and address related chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and cybersecurity risks.

NIST is working on setting guidelines for testing, including where ‘red-teaming’ would be most beneficial for AI risk assessment and management and setting best practices for doing so.

External red-teaming has been used for years in cybersecurity to identify new risks. In August, the first-ever U.S. public assessment ‘red-teaming’ event was held during a major cybersecurity conference and organised by AI Village, SeedAI, Humane Intelligence.

Thousands of participants tried to see if they “could make the systems produce undesirable outputs or otherwise fail, with the goal of better understanding the risks that these systems present,” the White House said. The event “demonstrated how external red-teaming can be an effective tool to identify novel AI risks,” it added.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the effort was aimed at developing industry standards around AI safety, security, and trust that will enable America to continue leading the world in the responsible development and use of this rapidly evolving technology.

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